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Cabin Knapphullet

Small cabin called Knapphullet (means buttonhole) by Norwegian studio Lund Hagem nestles against a cliff, and features a stepped concrete roof that doubles as a viewing platform and replaces two previously existing structures. The 30-square-metre retreat sits on a rocky site in Sandefjord on Norway’s south-east coast. Designed as a summer residence for one of the Oslo studio’s founding partners.

Cabin-Knapphullet-By-Lund-Hagem-Arkitekter-02-Kim-muller-800x1200 Cabin Knapphullet / Lund Hagem Arkitekter

© Kim muller

A unique precast roof extends from the side of the rock and meets a staircase leading to the rooftop deck. On each side of the structure exterior fronts of glass give an open view across the landscape. The cabin leaves a stunning minimum footprint in the nature and contains a small living area, a suspended bed and a bathroom overlooking the sea.

Cabin-Knapphullet-By-Lund-Hagem-Arkitekter-04-Ivar-Kvaal-800x1200 Cabin Knapphullet / Lund Hagem Arkitekter

© Ivar Kvaal

Cabin-Knapphullet-By-Lund-Hagem-Arkitekter-05-Ivar-Kvaal-759x506 Cabin Knapphullet / Lund Hagem Arkitekter

© Ivar Kvaal

The small abode is protected from the elements and blends into the landscape with its stepped concrete roof that folds down to the ground so that it can be used as a staircase for an elevated viewing platform connected to the rock face.

Cabin-Knapphullet-By-Lund-Hagem-Arkitekter-09-Kim-muller-800x1200 Cabin Knapphullet / Lund Hagem Arkitekter

© Kim muller

Cabin-Knapphullet-By-Lund-Hagem-Arkitekter-10-Ivar-Kvaal-759x506 Cabin Knapphullet / Lund Hagem Arkitekter

© Ivar Kvaal

The surrounding rocks create a natural windbreaker for the cabin, keeping it safe from gusty sea breezes. From here, you can also see how the roof is actually a cement staircase, offering easy access to amazing views.

Cabin-Knapphullet-By-Lund-Hagem-Arkitekter-12-Kim-muller-800x1200 Cabin Knapphullet / Lund Hagem Arkitekter

© Kim muller

Lund Hagem Arkitekter:

Knapphullet is a small annex to a family holiday home situated in Sandefjord in Norway. It is only 30 square meters, but contains an open living space with a bathroom and a mezzanine bed that sleeps two people. Although the building occupies such a small footprint, the space expands vertically over four levels including a roof terrace.

Cabin-Knapphullet-By-Lund-Hagem-Arkitekter-13-Kim-muller-800x1200 Cabin Knapphullet / Lund Hagem Arkitekter

© Kim muller

The house nestles between large rocks surrounded by low vegetation, a typical example of a Norwegian coastal landscape. The project started with an idea of how to utilize this naturally sheltered area surrounded by large rocks and dense vegetation. The idea developed to create a way to climb up from this shelter to see the panoramic view over the sea, which led to the characteristic shape of the roof: a stepped ramp leading up from the terrain to the top of the roof, connecting to the landscape beyond.

Cabin-Knapphullet-By-Lund-Hagem-Arkitekter-16-Kim-muller-800x1200 Cabin Knapphullet / Lund Hagem Arkitekter

© Kim muller

Exploring the detailed execution of each material expands this seemingly restricted material palette. The roof is executed in 270mm thick reinforced concrete with 20mm VIP insulation underneath. The concrete itself is water resistant, thus no additional roofing materials are required.

Cabin-Knapphullet-By-Lund-Hagem-Arkitekter-20-Kim-muller-759x506 Cabin Knapphullet / Lund Hagem Arkitekter

© Kim muller

The interior walls are solid 50/50mm oak layered with a natural sawn texture, while the acoustic ceiling is covered with woven oak strips. The long bench is made with the same white concrete as the roof. The bench and the floor extend from the interior to the exterior tying them together while the external fireplace creates a focal point in the atrium.

Cabin-Knapphullet-By-Lund-Hagem-Arkitekter-22-Ivar-Kvaal-802x1200 Cabin Knapphullet / Lund Hagem Arkitekter

© Ivar Kvaal

Project Data:

Project name: Cabin Knapphullet
Location: Vesterøyveien 526, 3234 Sandefjord, Norway
Coordinates: 59.056624, 10.265190

  • Type By Characteristic: Cabin / Hut / Cottage, Holiday House, Low Cost House
  • Type By Site: Hill House, Ocean House
  • Type By Size: Tiny House – (less than 51 sqm)
  • Type By Materials: Concrete House

Floor count: 1
Project area: 30 sqm
Status: Built
Completion Year: 2014


  • 2017 – Architizer A+ Awards – Typology Categories: Residential / Private House (XS <1000 sq ft) – Jury Winner & Popular Choice Winner

The people:

Client / Owner / Developer: Private

Text Description: © Courtesy of Lund Hagem Arkitekter
Images: © Lund Hagem Arkitekter, Kim Müller, Ivar Kvaal,  Svein Lund


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Cabin Knapphullet / Lund Hagem Arkitekter
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